Thursday, January 28, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 0.5-pt Liberal...Lead?

EKOS has it Thursday poll out, and it is a doozy.The Liberals are back in front, a position they haven't held since early September 2009. Obviously, this is a tiny, statistically insignificant lead, but it was only a few weeks ago that the margin between these two parties was in the double-digits.

Of course, 31.6% isn't exactly a strong mandate. But it is their best result so far in 2010 and represents a 0.7-point gain since EKOS's poll last week. At 31.1%, the Tories have to be near their floor, most likely represented by their 2004 electoral result. They're down 0.4 points.

The NDP did not fare well in this poll, however, at a low 14.6%, down 0.3 points. The Greens are still high, though down 0.5 poitns to 11.0%, while the "Others" are storming forward with an unstoppable 2.6%!

It is interesting to look at the daily results. Prior to the weekend of January 23-24, the Tories were leading with an average of 32.3% to the Liberals' 30.4%. Following the weekend, when parliament would have begun sitting, the Liberals led with 32.7% to the Conservatives' 30.1%. The NDP also improved its score. A daily blip, or the start of a trend?

Ontario is showing a huge Liberal lead, 39.2% to 31.6%. But this is actually an indication of stabilisation, as the Liberals are up about a point and the Tories are down two. The NDP is up about two to 14.8%.

The Bloc gains about a point in Quebec to stand at 37%, while the Liberals gain about three points to reach 29.1%. That is a strong result for them. 16.2%, down about two points, is a weak result for the Tories.

British Columbia is showing a closing race, as the Tories have dropped about four points to 32.4%. The Liberals and NDP are up about two points, to 27.1% and 21.9%, respectively.

The other three areas do not have any big surprises, though the 6.4% "Other" result in Alberta is strange. In Atlantic Canada, the Tories and Liberals swapped about 8-9 points, likely a result of the smaller sample size.

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Liberals - 117
Conservatives - 114
Bloc Quebecois - 50
New Democrats - 27

The Liberals re-gain the lead in seats, though it is marginal. With the tacit support of the NDP or the Bloc, an Ignatieff government would be safe.

The Liberals win 44 seats in Ontario and 35 seats in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The Tories take 69 seats in the West, 49 in Ontario, and only 17 in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Prorogation has to be the reason for this new trend. Harper has looked relatively good on the Haiti issue and in Davos, while the opposition is making political hay with the prorogation issue and nothing else. It will be very interesting to see if the numbers will continue to move in opposite directions.


  1. I think its simply a sign that the idea of Harper = arrogant/on vacation/political meanie is truly sinking in, and as a negative. Coupled with the fact that the Liberals are getting positive reviews for some policy ideas they've put out and the whole "Liberals Are Working" business - aka. signs of a motivated Opposition - its starting to hurt Harper in ways I don't think even he predicted.

    Ignatieff may not be loved, but the Liberals are seen as the best alterative right now. It could become a trend if the Liberals don't do anything to screw it up. We might not be able to score a huge lead, but simply being tied is more than enough to keep us in high spirits.

    However, if these results do keep up, I think one thing might become very clear: a coalition might be inevitable. These kind of deflated numbers for the two governing parties shows just how sick Canadians are of the status-quo. I might not like the NDP, but I'd rather have the Liberals work with them in government, rather than Liberals not in government at all.

  2. I don't think the Atlantic Canadians numbers can really be taken into consideration much, while the margin of error is less then the prairies the numbers fluctuate alot more. I think the Liberals will always get alot of seats there even if their popular vote may decrease a bit.

    In Newfoundland and Labrador for instance it will be a while before another Conservative is elected in the province and the Liberals are expected to have a strong canidate in Jack Harris's riding which they lacked severly last election so there may just be a clan sweep for the Liberals in NL and they should easily get atleast 10 in the maritimes.

  3. J,

    I don't know about this "strong candidate," but even if they got Jesus himself, the Liberals would have a tough time knocking off Jack Harris. The man is a St. John's icon. He's apart of the woodwork. He has been apart of the city's and the province's politics since I think the 1970's. He won 74% of the vote last time. He isn't going anywhere, Liberals be damned.

    The Liberals should be focused on maintaining the two seats they do have that might be up for grabs as the Conservative vote seeps back in - Avalon and St. John's South-Mount Pearl. Those are two ridings on the knife's edge.

  4. In before Shadow comes to justify how this is *good* news for the Conservatives.

  5. Doctor Cynic I don't consider a half decimal within the MOE flucation in Tory support to be any form of news, good or bad.

  6. ^ Tory rationalization at its finest.

  7. Volkov you really think a .4 drop is bad news for the Conservatives ?

    To me that looks like no change.

    Which is actually pretty good because now prorogation is no longer an issue, the channel is permanently changed, and new issues will fill the void.

    Another round of anti-Ignatieff attack ads might do the trick.

  8. Hehe, I'm just yanking your chain, Shadow. I know it isn't a big issue.

    However, I do think that it might take more than just a round of attack ads. Iggy really needs to screw up in order to truly change the channel. Well, to frame it within your analogy: the channel isn't changed, but the commercials are on. Harper has a chance to change it, but if the Liberals push enough, they can stop it. It will be a true battle, something we've been missing in Ottawa lately.

  9. Volkov it already looks like the Liberals are preparing to blow this thing.

    Kennedy was on Power Play yesterday and was the first Liberal since Iggy's tax raising gaffes last summer to raise the idea.

    Later Bob Fife reported that there is a division within the caucus, with one side wanting to lie about not raising taxes and the other side wanting to tell the truth about a proposed 1% GST increase to pay for social programs.

    You want a major mistake from Iggy ? If the GST increase faction in caucus wins out.

  10. Shadow, I've never even heard of anything more convoluted. I may not be the most well connected guy in the Liberal Party, but I know enough people and have enough access to know that whatever Bob Fife has said is either speculation or pure story telling, and with all due respect to Bob, that's nothing new from him.

    When I see actual evidence of this grand conspiracy, I'll put some stock in it. But, for Christ's sake - not from Bob Fife.

  11. Volkov if the Liberals want to offer ANYTHING in terms of social programs during the next election a 1% GST increase (heck make it temporary) is the only way they could do it.

    Give me your honest assesment. If elected do you think the Liberals won't raise any taxes whatsoever ?

    Or do you think they'll raise taxes and use that money for new social programs ?

  12. We need to have GST back to 7% ASAP. Forget this 6% business. I don't care if Liberals have to lie about it until they're in the position to implement it. We need sound economic policy not Conservative anti-tax-at-all-costs rhetoric.

  13. Anon we're in the middle of a synchronized global recession in which demand and consumption have fallen off a cliff.

    If you really think squeezing the middle class and putting up barriers to demand (especially when bussiness need to offload inventory before manufacturing in Ontario gets going again) then you're just crazy.

    Anyone will tell you that you do NOT raise taxes during a recession.

  14. Shadow,

    It isn't my business to guess the Leader's strategy and future decisions, though it is certainly fun to speculate!

    Do I think they'll raise taxes? Maybe. But not through the GST - it is too politically toxic. Ignatieff would need quite a lot of political capital in order to pull it off. I don't see him getting that capital. But, that doesn't mean there aren't other things on the table.

    What those things are, I could only guess. But the GST? No way. I don't see it happening unless Iggy brings it to the electorate and they put him in office. Any other way is begging for the knives to be drawn.

  15. Thank you Shadow for demonstrating the aforementioned rhetoric!

  16. My last comment never got posted unless there is some super long delay so here it is again.


    Jack Harris is an excellent MP I have dealt with him and he is very nice and while he may have won 74% of the vote in 2008 he had little competetion. As everyone knows the Conservatives did not have a chance and the Liberal canidate in the riding was Walter Noel, who had been named in the auditor generals constituency allowances report for over spending more then $10 000 on such things as womens underwear.

    While Jack Harris is also a St. John's icon, as you said, when he was an MHA and leader of the NDP he just barely won his seat.

    As for the Liberals possible canidate in the riding it is Peter Dawe, former director of the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society. While I don't know much about him he is well known and even my mom, who does not follow politics much, said he would have a good chance of winning.

    Jack Harris may get re-elected again but I doubt he will breeze through like he did in 2008 with some real competetion.

    As for the riding of Avalon I don't think the Liberals will have to hard of a time getting re-elected there. As for St. John's South Mount Pear, I never thought in 2008 that Siobhan Coady would have would have a hard time winning the seat and the next election will be especially interesting. It's usually tough to beat an incumbent, especially one who is apart of the shadow cabinet, but Ryan Cleary has had the benefit of being able to campaign in the riding for the last few months.

  17. Sorry Anon, I require a minimum of correct grammar, capital letters, and thought.

  18. i wish harper would get called on his im an economist garbage. harper is not an economist. he never held a job as an economist nor has he lectured or wrote any papers or books on the subject. he is a complete fraud he is nothing but a career politician totally unfit and unqualified for the job he holds. he also has a face that would stop a clock

  19. time for steve to take out the blue sweater maybe play some piano drag out the wife and kids maybe even the mother. what a complete and utter pathetic joke we have for a pm. i cringe every time i see him on tv at an international conference he always looks like he just ate a s t biscuit if you know what i mean

  20. shadow you seem to be able to justify everything harper does. i guess if he flushed himself down a toilet you would too.


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